BNC Text J3S

Shropshire County Council Public Protection Committee: committee meeting. Sample containing about 10166 words speech recorded in public context

11 speakers recorded by respondent number C466

PS3NG X m (No name, age unknown) chairman
PS3NH X f (Jennifer, age unknown) unspecified
PS3NJ X m (No name, age unknown) unspecified
PS3NK X m (Dave, age unknown) unspecified
PS3NL X m (No name, age unknown) unspecified
PS3NM X m (No name, age unknown) unspecified
PS3NN X m (No name, age unknown, major) unspecified
PS3NP X m (George, age unknown, chief fire officer) unspecified
PS3NR X m (No name, age unknown, colonel) unspecified
J3SPSUNK (respondent W0000) X u (Unknown speaker, age unknown) other
J3SPSUGP (respondent W000M) X u (Group of unknown speakers, age unknown) other

1 recordings

  1. Tape 109901 recorded on 1994-01-12. LocationShropshire () Activity: committee meeting

Undivided text

Unknown speaker (J3SPSUNK) [1] This too, they left until the end of the meeting in er, in part two.
(PS3NG) [2] Part two.
Unknown speaker (J3SPSUNK) [3] Sure, do you mean paper B or do you mean the whole of item three?
(PS3NG) [4] The whole of item three ... the whole of item three.
[5] You agree?
Unknown speaker (J3SPSUNK) [6] Agreed
Unknown speaker (J3SPSUNK) [7] There is a problem with magistrates courts and things like that Chairman, and I don't think there's contention about that is there?
(PS3NG) [8] They are, there are in parts.
[9] We make it.
Unknown speaker (J3SPSUNK) [10] Are they?
Unknown speaker (J3SPSUNK) [11] As I understand it Chair, what you're saying is, that there are, at three there is a, a request for an exclusion of press photographers, but the convenience of press photography we're saying that instead of taking immediately so that we'd have to call them back here for the [...] even later, we're asking you for it to be taken at the end with the rest of exclusion [...]
(PS3NG) [12] That's correct.
Unknown speaker (J3SPSUNK) [13] But Chairman, that refers to item three two, not the whole of three
(PS3NG) [14] Yes, but I mean, it, it is erm,
Unknown speaker (J3SPSUNK) [15] three wild parker, presumably, so that I, I, I would assume Mr Chairman if we do have to [...] maybe you'll be sure that he, the [...] with three, two agreement?
(PS3NG) [16] Yes,
Unknown speaker (J3SPSUNK) [17] Three two, yes, it's only three two.
Unknown speaker (J3SPSUNK) [...]
Unknown speaker (J3SPSUNK) [18] The others don't come under those sections.
Unknown speaker (J3SPSUNK) [19] It's difficult for me, yes.
Unknown speaker (J3SPSUNK) [...]
(PS3NG) [20] Okay, you agree?
Unknown speaker (J3SPSUNK) [21] Three two
Unknown speaker (J3SPSUNK) [22] Yes
Unknown speaker (J3SPSUNK) [23] On the budget
Unknown speaker (J3SPSUNK) [24] And three three
Unknown speaker (J3SPSUNK) [25] On the?
Unknown speaker (J3SPSUNK) [26] No
Unknown speaker (J3SPSUNK) [27] Yes, there seems to be some database with what we're
Unknown speaker (J3SPSUNK) [28] We can't, [...]
(PS3NG) [29] We can't, we can't take C before B really, we'd have to discuss C before B, we can come back into public on C if you so desire, at the end Mr
Unknown speaker (J3SPSUNK) [30] But B will be erm,
(PS3NG) [31] but B three will be in section in three [...]
Unknown speaker (J3SPSUNK) [32] We're talking about B three Captain, B three is open to the public press, unless count county solicitors propose a good reason why it shouldn't be.
(PS3NG) [33] But we don't want to discuss that before B do we really?
Unknown speaker (J3SPSUNK) [34] We've got to make a decision on B before we can finalize C.
[35] Thank you.
Unknown speaker (J3SPSUNK) [36] Alright.
Unknown speaker (J3SPSUNK) [37] Yes Chair,th th that's right, as I understand it, there is no reason why C should not be discussed next session, indeed it's probably right that it should be, but it's a matter for members to decide whether they can usefully do so before considering B.
(PS3NG) [38] We can go back into public after B if you so desire.
Unknown speaker (J3SPSUNK) [39] Yes, yes
Jennifer (PS3NH) [40] Are we not allowed to defer B until the end of the meeting?
(PS3NG) [41] But we can't take C Mrs , until we've taken B.
Jennifer (PS3NH) [42] No, oh, right, I see.
Unknown speaker (J3SPSUNK) [43] [clears throat] I will, I will second you that we [...]
Unknown speaker (J3SPSUNK) [44] Agreed, yes
Unknown speaker (J3SPSUNK) [45] We can do three, four Chairman.
Unknown speaker (J3SPSUNK) [laugh]
Unknown speaker (J3SPSUNK) [46] We just agreed it.
Unknown speaker (J3SPSUNK) [47] Three, four?
Unknown speaker (J3SPSUNK) [48] Three, four's only for report.
(PS3NG) [49] Three, four is only a report.
Unknown speaker (J3SPSUNK) [50] We haven't had the opportunity to decide the recommendations there.
(PS3NG) [51] So, I mean the recommendations are finally complete, have you submitted to Policy and Resources Committee?
Unknown speaker (J3SPSUNK) [52] Read, read over
Unknown speaker (J3SPSUNK) [...]
Unknown speaker (J3SPSUNK) [53] Chairman, can I ask what, what your intentions are with, with the budget, Chairman and there's great public interest in the budget.
[54] Is it your intention to enter a statement part erm, at the end of the meeting to the press and so on?
(PS3NG) [55] If the press are here they can safe safely hear the items, if they're not here it doesn't matter.
Unknown speaker (J3SPSUNK) [56] They're not here
(PS3NG) [57] We'll deal with that when it comes, we're to it yet, anywhere near.
Unknown speaker (J3SPSUNK) [58] No, no
(PS3NG) [59] Er
Unknown speaker (J3SPSUNK) [60] Can I propose we move on to four.
(PS3NG) [61] Yes, we'd better just approve the minutes of the meeting process, of the last meeting first of all, hadn't we lads?
[62] I've completely overlooked it.
Unknown speaker (J3SPSUNK) [63] Yes
(PS3NG) [64] Agreed?
Unknown speaker (J3SPSUNK) [65] Yes
(PS3NG) [66] Item four, Trace of Deeds.
[67] ... Mr .
(PS3NJ) [68] Erm, I don't really wish to add anything in particular to this if people would like to ask questions, then I'm prepared to answer them.
[69] The, just note there is a short article note on the Waterprice situation overpage.
[70] If anybody wants to expand on that or anything else I'm willing to do so.
(PS3NG) [71] Okay, anybody want to question Mr on any of the points?
Unknown speaker (J3SPSUNK) [72] What's the feeling about B S E Mr Chairman, where're our feelings, put them down or what?
(PS3NJ) [73] Er, yes, Mr Chairman, nationally it is going down, locally we're, we're going along on a plateau, erm, and in some areas it is actually go the incidence is going up, but this is basically like Scotland where they haven't got many anyway.
[74] So the, the overall figure is going down, and this really reflects the way outbreaks have occurred, in that some areas have a lot early on, they're dropping off.
[75] We had a quite a number at the middle of the outbreak, er, that continuing erm, and some areas have had none, they're getting a lot.
[76] We, we will expect to go down.
[77] In other words, instead of almost doubling year by year, last we are about the same, we haven't got all the confirmations, we're about the same as we were the year before, give or take a few, about say five percent.
[78] Whereas before we were going up in leaps and bounds.
Unknown speaker (J3SPSUNK) [79] It's slowing down.
[80] Levelling off locally, nationally beginning to down.
Unknown speaker (J3SPSUNK) [81] Jim there's a Despatches programme on Channel Four next week where some of the work that we've done on B S E is fea featured and my colleague's been through it as well.
(PS3NG) [82] So that's on Despatches on Channel Four next week.
Unknown speaker (J3SPSUNK) [83] Can I ask my usual old chestnut again, Chairman?
[84] Erm, if we're not allowing nerve tissue to be used in the feedstuffs of cattle, because we suspect that it might be carried in that, and therefore being transmitted to live, er, one species to another, how is it now we can buy chops with nerve ti tissue in it?
[85] Choking at the whole process?
Unknown speaker (J3SPSUNK) [86] You're only buying lamb chops and pork chops with the [clears throat] spinal columns still in.
[87] You wouldn't buy beef with the spinal cords still in.
Unknown speaker (J3SPSUNK) [88] That sounds nasty.
Unknown speaker (J3SPSUNK) [89] So what you're saying is, I'm not sure of cutting the process are you?
[90] Can you say that with satisfaction in your voice?
Unknown speaker (J3SPSUNK) [91] Yes [laugh]
Unknown speaker (J3SPSUNK) [laugh]
(PS3NG) [92] Okay any other questions for Mr on paper D?
Unknown speaker (J3SPSUNK) [93] Okay will you excuse me, I'll be back in a mo.
(PS3NG) [94] If not we'll move on, thank you Mr .
[95] To paper E, report by the Chief Trading Standards Officer on Animal Health and Welfare.
Jennifer (PS3NH) [96] Chair erm,
(PS3NG) [97] Yes, Jennifer
Jennifer (PS3NH) [98] erm, on four, er, again I don't know what pigeon fanciers or pigeon [...] er, what their views are on this, but you see, this is another European directive erm, there is a risk it says of this disease being airborne, it can be airborne, and it was shown that racing pigeons could introduce the disease to commercial flocks.
[99] Erm, is there really a danger of this, I see that er, the A C C are supporting the proposal, but is it just another sort of Euro directive that is going to cause a lot of expense and distress to a lot of people who keep pigeons, which is on the whole not a, you know, I was going to say, not a very erm, expensive form of sport or entertainment whatever.
[100] It can be I know, but I mean erm, I'm thinking of some of my electorate, and I haven't actually had the opportunity to ask them.
Unknown speaker (J3SPSUNK) [101] As long as they don't come home to roost.
Unknown speaker (J3SPSUNK) [102] [laughing] Yes, [...] []
Jennifer (PS3NH) [103] I mean, can be, and might be and, and er, could be.
[104] Er, that isn't very definite is it?
(PS3NG) [105] No, I think it, it is, it's quite a complex situation, but there is a disease of p pigeons which is one of these paramixa viruses, which has occurred in the country and is a disease of pigeons, and most pigeon clubs in fact all pigeon clubs now I believe, insist that their members vaccinate their birds.
[106] So most birds are vaccinated
Jennifer (PS3NH) [107] All the birds, and do they?
(PS3NG) [108] Yes, most are vaccinated already.
[109] Now, obviously there are people who keep pigeons unassociated with clubs, it's not compulsory, but there's control in.
[110] So any other, including any, any other vaccines is really not a very great problem.
[111] The vaccine is administered by aerosol, it's not injected in, so it's just a matter of really spraying the vaccine in.
[112] So, I, I don't see this is a great problem for the
Jennifer (PS3NH) [113] Thank you very much ... it's not really
(PS3NG) [114] and it's a, it's a belt and braces because if the other form of paramixa virus did come in, it would affect the poultry industry.
Unknown speaker (J3SPSUNK) [115] But when we how cow pest in the county last?
[116] Ten years ago?
[117] Eight years ago?
Unknown speaker (J3SPSUNK) [118] Eighty four I came, about eight years ago, nine years ago.
Unknown speaker (J3SPSUNK) [119] It was traced back to pigeons, feral pigeons though in th at the feeding stuffs erm, place in Liverpool.
(PS3NG) [120] So what we're saying really, or what you're saying, is that the costs, erm, are, not very ex not very high, and the cost is well worth the erm, protection that it er, that it gives.
Unknown speaker (J3SPSUNK) [121] It cuts down a, er, er, risk which is perhaps not that high in the first place.
[122] But it cuts it down.
(PS3NG) [123] So it's worth the cost [...] ?
Jennifer (PS3NH) [124] I mean, the report does say that pigeon fanciers are opposed on grounds of cost.
(PS3NG) [125] Yes, I, I agree with you on that.
Unknown speaker (J3SPSUNK) [126] I accept that's what they're saying Tom, you see.
(PS3NG) [127] But we're given information that the cost is not very high.
[128] ... Other questions on the er, on the report?
Unknown speaker (J3SPSUNK) [129] Ch Ch Chair, can I embrace er, can I have consent under five.
[130] I, I think it's regrettable that the concerns and the criticisms of the use of open dips er, has still not gone away in spite of what the institute's said.
[131] But I think it's to be welcomed that a medical panel will be established.
[132] The difficulty is, is that there also needs to be some work done to evaluate alternatives, because clearly there is widespread concern about outbreak of er, sheep scab, not only in this area but indeed across the country.
[133] Members may well be aware of, of some of the actions that the A T C have been taking on this, and have been calling on that to actually look at that to list of alternate.
[134] Indeed I know a number of authorities who're actually considering sending delegations to, to meet with the Minister to discuss the whole issue of sheep dip, and er, the lack of compulsory in er sheep dipping.
[135] And er, I would like to propose that this Committee, together with the National Farmers' Union and Country Ploughmens' Association sends a delegation to London to meet with the Minister to discuss these issues and other, our concerns.
Unknown speaker (J3SPSUNK) [136] I'll second that Mr Chairman.
(PS3NG) [137] Any members there want to express any thoughts on the matter?
Jennifer (PS3NH) [138] Yes, it's quite an ideal choice.
Unknown speaker (J3SPSUNK) [139] You've no doubt you'll be paid
Unknown speaker (J3SPSUNK) [140] [...] the only thing I wanted to ask Chairman, if somebody can help me?
[141] Er, the information comes out I think er, both in the newspapers and er, a number of the television and radios, bit touchy about organo-phosphates, er, in sheep dips.
[142] Some people are saying that they're deadly dangerous and er, we need to wrap up as if you're going into a nuclear zone, and er, somehow other people say they're vital, it depends on what sort of mix you use, and how you use it, and where you use it.
[143] I mean there, do we have any, do we have a view, do, does anybody know exactly what it is?
[144] That should we be using it, shouldn't we be using it?
[145] And er, if we shouldn't have been using it, what's the alternative?
[146] Because none of us wants to have er, the problems that are occurring when you don't put any sheep dip on.
Dave (PS3NK) [147] The problem is Chairman, that, that the Veterinary Products Committee are the only ones that can allow, that, that, sorry, that advise the Minister on what preparations should or should not be er, used.
[148] When we, we using B H C vaccine in eigh er, late seventies, early eighties, erm, that caused problems because we had residues left in the meat, and the French amongst others found it as well, so there were, there were problems there, and the Ministry went over to organo-phos or to organo-phosphorus dips, they were the only alternative that they'd got at that er, time.
Unknown speaker (J3SPSUNK) [149] Right
Dave (PS3NK) [150] Erm, the, all the arguments for and against organic dips have been considered this last nine months by the Veterinary Products Committee, and they've come out with a report I think, that satisfies no one, because it doesn't go either, either way in that respect at all , it's called for more research and, and erm, development in that, in that sense.
[151] It's difficult as far as the alternatives are concerned, is that no alternatives, but effectively it's about four times the cost to administer, because you can dip a hundred sheep off one of the er, packs and it's a smaller pack.
[152] So it's far more expensive and it doesn't do anything against fly strike during the summer.
[153] So farmers would have to use this against sheep scab and they've have to use other dips or sprays against fly strike in the sum sum summer.
[154] So ideally what the industry needs is an alternative that erm, is really, that kills off the sheep scab bug, and at the same time er, is er, affords protection against other erm, things like er, fly er strike.
[155] The Ministry, the Veterinary Products Committee is now going away and they're going to do even, even more work on it, erm, so I honestly don't think that, that we're going to get much more out of the Ministry until Veterinary Products Committee have come back and looked at it yet again, because the, the answer that you'll get is that they're already looking at that side of it.
[156] So far as compulsory sheep dipping is concerned, er, there are a number of counties that have put the view that erm, it should be made compulsory again.
[157] Erm, in Shropshire the M F U are known to be in favour of compulsory dips, there's no difference between us, but if we are going down, you are going to send a re erm, er, a joint representation, then I think before you agree to send a joint representation then you need to have a meeting with M F U and C L A, to make certain that we're all saying the same thing.
[158] Erm, and, and if we are going to do, to do that, then I'd suggest as well Chairman, that we er, raise the issue with er, A C C so that we don't go alone, we go with other authorities if that's what members want to er, do.
[159] But at the present time, I mean Mr er, might have more information, but my information was that erm, after the V P C reported, was that there was just no alternative dip in the foreseeable future.
Unknown speaker (J3SPSUNK) [160] Yes?
Unknown speaker (J3SPSUNK) [161] I know what V P C means, but would you all
(PS3NG) [162] The Veterinary Products Committee.
(PS3NJ) [163] Erm, yes, there is a report in erm, the er, veterinary literature just come out, on the use of an injection to control sheep scab.
[164] This is a, a [...] it's the same as can be used against weevil fly.
[165] It, it seems to be very fairly effective, or very effective, but not a hundred percent effective, as the organo-phospho type, and you need to inject.
[166] But the obvious advantage of having an injection, is you don't have to put the sheep in a bath, but the disadvantage is you've got the residues which last us slightly longer.
[167] So you know, it's a, it's a balance.
[168] So as Dave says, the alternative dip protocol is, is very expensive, but it does leave no residue.
Dave (PS3NK) [169] The residue one is a problem as well Chairman, because when we had the sheep dipping campaigns, one of the things that we did was to, to just carry out some very quick rough checks at markets in this county to see whether in fact sheep were being withheld from slaughter sale for the required period.
Unknown speaker (J3SPSUNK) [170] Fourteen days.
Unknown speaker (J3SPSUNK) [171] Ten, depends on the product, but fourteen days.
Dave (PS3NK) [172] Ten days, fourteen days whatever it might be.
[173] And we found that about twenty two percent of the er, sheep being entered, had been dipped within the period, so in other words they'd not been withheld, so it's a concern.
[174] You'd have to have cons you have to, as well as having the dipping controls, you'd have to have the controls over marketing as well.
(PS3NG) [175] Yes?
Dave (PS3NK) [176] Can I just come back Chair, and I recognize obviously there is er, further work that's going on with this and support that it does, but there is a case with the Parliamentary Ombudsman in discipline on this at the moment, so on the way in which it's been handled by the Ministry.
[177] But I think it is important for us to er, as an individual authority as well as working with other authorities, to actually keep up the pressure on the Ministry to, to let them know that this isn't going to go away, and that they've got to come up with some answers which are, which are going to try and satisfy people.
[178] And having said that, they recognize the difficulties of the moment, it's the question of the alternatives, and there needs to be some work done on that.
[179] In the papers there doesn't seem to be that, that, that [...]
Unknown speaker (J3SPSUNK) [180] No in actual fact it was circulated to all members the V P C report of the, of the time.
Unknown speaker (J3SPSUNK) [181] Yes
Dave (PS3NK) [182] Rather than the last meeting, it was just a couple of days after the last meeting, so rather than wait until now, I circulated all the papers I'd got.
Jennifer (PS3NH) [183] I think Chairman, it is of particular interest of Shropshire isn't it really?
[184] If anything Shropshire must have more sheep than almost any other county [...] .
[185] I think we ought to look at, not necessarily with the agencies, our own delegation might well be able to do something.
Unknown speaker (J3SPSUNK) [186] Well Chairman I'm grateful for that, that information, what it says is that er, everybody else is just as confused as I am.
[187] No really, and er, so I, I don't feel quite such a fool as I did when I started to speak.
[188] But er, I think the advice that erm, Mr is giving us about who we talk to and when to talk to them, how we get to get together and present a united face to government is a, is a good suggestion, and I'd like to propose that er, we accept that.
(PS3NG) [189] Yes, yes.
(PS3NL) [190] I, I, I'm very concerned, erm, about this because er, I used to deliver this dip, and I, I'm concerned er, about my staff, and there's been lots of cases that have claimed that this er, dip has affected people.
[191] There's any amount of farmers, farm workers er, going sick because of this dip, there was last year.
[192] Whether it's genuine or not I don't know, but er, I think it was, it is dangerous stuff and erm, it is time, surely we do it, our scientists can find something better and cheaper.
[193] Because I mean, that, it, it costs the earth anyway, that damn stuff, it really does, [...] with it, and it's a, well I, I did it on about eight hundred sheep so you know, my men are stuck in this for a day or two.
[194] It's er, it's not pleasant for them, and they're doing it in wet weathers, but I mean whatever erm, I find for them you know, to wear, I mean, time after time they get their feet down and slip and get them in [...] .
[195] In fact I've known people to go right in, so it, it, it's not a simple job, you know, and they do take a great deal of risk with this, and I do, I mean it's much more serious than I think than the government find, it should really work hard to try, to try to find something else.
[196] We never had this problem years ago, I mean it's only do-gooders who stopped the stuff we used to use years ago which was a reasonable price, who's caused all these problems.
(PS3NG) [197] You, you're saying there is already an alternative?
(PS3NL) [198] Erm, a bit of [...]
(PS3NG) [199] In your opinion?
(PS3NL) [200] Well yes, but I mean, it's before this erm, this lot came out, and er, that used to work alright and that didn't er, the do-gooders decided it was affecting our meat,
(PS3NG) [201] You're only expressing a personal opinion Councillor ?
(PS3NL) [202] Well I don't know about that, it seems to be a general opinion for farmers.
(PS3NG) [203] Well why does the Farmers Union support, anyway we won't go into an argument about that, but I mean the M F U support the dipping and er, with due respect, it's a personal opinion.
(PS3NM) [204] Well sir, they're, we support dipping because it's already been stated to note that we make most of the money for Shropshire from farming, and sheep is one of the big things which we sell all over the country, but unless we can guarantee our sheep are clear of er, disease people aren't going to come here and buy meat and stuff are they?
[205] And that's the important point.
Unknown speaker (J3SPSUNK) [206] Yes, yes.
(PS3NG) [207] Are you agreeing that some, some action should be taken?
(PS3NM) [208] Oh yes, I'm all favour of dipping, but I want a safer dip for the operators.
(PS3NG) [209] [...] , well you've heard the motion,
Dave (PS3NK) [210] If, if Mr accepts that, can I er, call a meeting with perhaps a member from each of the groups and an M F U and C, C L A?
Unknown speaker (J3SPSUNK) [211] I doubt Mr can be included in that because he's on the A C C, aren't you on the A C C committee for this?
(PS3NM) [212] No, not on this particular committee services [...]
Unknown speaker (J3SPSUNK) [213] No, alright, sorry, sorry alright.
(PS3NG) [214] Okay are you all agreed?
Unknown speaker (J3SPSUNK) [215] Yes.
(PS3NG) [216] Any other points on the, on this report? ...
Jennifer (PS3NH) [217] Erm, only one Chairman, on, on eight under inbred.
[218] Making inspections on cattle on page four, erm, one thousand one hundred and forty two inbred, and five hundred and twenty three bred.
[219] Is one thousand one hundred and forty two incorrect inceptions or whatever, [...] correct, isn't that very high?
Dave (PS3NK) [220] Yes, it's the, the failure to keep bovine identification breed re records by two or three far farmers and it's one of those things where if you've got a lot of animals and you haven't marked them, then you get a lot of incorrects, and that's why we've got to go through it.
Jennifer (PS3NH) [221] So it's just two or three people, and not [...] ?
Dave (PS3NK) [222] Yes, yes, yes.
[223] Erm, the situation in Shropshire as far as records are concerned is erm, relatively good.
Unknown speaker (J3SPSUNK) [224] It would be even better now, now we've got these systematic [...]
Unknown speaker (J3SPSUNK) [225] What?
(PS3NG) [226] Okay, I expect everybody's noticed seven and noticed the legal proceedings that followed that.
[227] Right we'll move on.
[228] Fire and Rescue Quarterly Report.
Unknown speaker (J3SPSUNK) [229] Fire Officer, paper F, and I think you've had a ... something additional put on your table because you've had [...] with that paper A.
Unknown speaker (J3SPSUNK) [230] Oh
Unknown speaker (J3SPSUNK) [231] It's against statistics for July to Sept July to September.
Unknown speaker (J3SPSUNK) [232] I think it's worth er, noting Chairman the high incidence of er, chip pans, which are domestic chip pans, not chip shops, quite a high incidence still of domestic fires caused by domestic chip pans.
Unknown speaker (J3SPSUNK) [233] Chairman can I also say that the er, the false alarms situation seems to have gone down.
[234] Erm, I think we ought to make it very clear again, that we can now trace calls, and er, I hope the press are noting that and making as much as they can of it, because that's the sort of thing that helps to remove malicious calls, which go which cost a lot of money, and a lot of time, and also put somebody else's life in danger when an appliance has been called out to something that it's not required for.
[235] So that's er, that's a very pleasing er, statistic if I may say so, and er, I reinforce again we can now check and find out where false calls come from.
Unknown speaker (J3SPSUNK) [236] Thank you Chairman.
Jennifer (PS3NH) [237] Chairman, on, on the front of page, under over the border calls, I don't know whether people saw the erm, local news last night, about the cuts in Herefordshire and Worcestershire, and apparently there's just one appliance will be in Kidderminster, erm, will that mean we'll have more over the border calls, because they won't be able to get appliances?
(PS3NG) [238] I, no, well the answer is no as far as the Chief Fire Officer is concerned.
[239] ... Do you want to speak on this er,
George (PS3NP) [240] No, Chief [...] hasn't set any questions, erm, the other change to this has been to remove the fire's special interest and we've put in as a separate paper, so that we can bring them up to date.
[241] Hitherto you've always received them three, six months in arrears.
[242] What we're trying to do is get it, reasonably up to date, and these are of course then, photographs for the album as well .
(PS3NG) [243] Yes there are photographs going round by the way.
[244] Yes Councillor?
Unknown speaker (J3SPSUNK) [245] Yes, could I just raise a point on two on the analysis of fire calls.
[246] Erm, the heading doubtful, arson suspected.
[247] There seems to be quite an increase over the year, erm, virtually double.
[248] Erm, are they actually in particular areas, grouped and, and particular age groups which may be causing these incidents?
George (PS3NP) [249] Yes, very much so in fact, and in this sort of thing the local trend is similar to the national trend.
[250] People who set fires tend to be young males, there are very few female arsonists, and there are not that many in the sort of later age group.
[251] They tend to be young, and they tend to be male.
[252] That's not always the case, but it's, that's the tendency.
[253] Erm, there is an increase nationally, we've got a similar increase locally, although the figures that we've shown there are probably distorted slightly.
[254] I mean it's not anything like as dramatic as that, but it's, because it fluctuates in different quarters in the area, in different towns.
[255] But yes, the trend is the same as the national one, there is an increase in arson, possibly that's also influenced by the fact that we're better at detecting arson and we're becoming increasingly more so as the years go by, and calls that would have been recorded as unknown in the past, would now be recorded as this.
Unknown speaker (J3SPSUNK) [256] Were you referring or asking whether these occurred in areas of Shropshire, or?
Unknown speaker (J3SPSUNK) [257] No, no, I, I wa I was actually referring to the, the nature of, and the, whether if Shropshire was the same as the national.
(PS3NN) [258] Chairman having detected the arsons, I wonder if the Chief Officer knew whether a study had ever been done on the background of those people generally, nationally who er, caused that scene and whether any steps would be f if they were confined to certain people with certain backgrounds, or certain part of histories, whether anything could be brought to bear?
George (PS3NP) [259] Yes, erm, a great deal of work has been done in the United States on this trend, in particular by juvenile fire setters as they refer to them.
[260] There's been a more limited but still a fairly substantial amount of work done in this country, and there has been nothing at all, we've had done locally.
[261] Recently, I met with er, the probation people from Social Services to discuss exactly what Major has asked about, which is follow up on juvenile fire setters, and find out if there's any way in which we can modify their behaviour.
[262] And in the past, the, the nearest we've got to that is taking them along to a fire station and telling them what sort of people we are, that has been proved in many cases to be counterproductive, because it's actually an incentive if you wish to set fires from other districts than this.
[263] So what we're trying to do is approach this in a professional way, and we're drawing on the national and the international experience and working together with Social Services to try and determine a sensible policy.
[264] And I have to say that we're talking about a limited number of people, that even if you deter half a dozen young fire setters in a year, you'd probably made a fairly substantial impact in Shropshire.
[265] So we're at that very early stage [...] that we are working directly with Social Services, and also in another area with education, for the same reason.
Unknown speaker (J3SPSUNK) [266] Yes, okay, could we ask Mr Chairman, on this particular thing on this arson business in [...] one thing that we did express concern of were a number of years that are invariably are started we've called in to do the research into this and the investigation, so ar does this add now the fact that you're more sophisticated, does it now mean that your having more staff er, devoted to this, because this was a question that whether we should do it, or whether the police should be doing it?
[267] Is it, er, er, having an impact on us, on our standing?
George (PS3NP) [268] Yes, I think the answer to that has to be certainly it does.
[269] Really to investigate even to analyze the statistics takes time.
[270] To produce these statistics in the way we now produce them takes time.
[271] To break them down into calls by type of station or something as simple as that.
Unknown speaker (J3SPSUNK) [272] Yes, yes, I, I accept that, but it
George (PS3NP) [273] To analyze the statistics and look for meaningful trends obviously takes staff time.
Unknown speaker (J3SPSUNK) [274] But this, this won't be a er, uniformed staff, this will be, I presume, difference between uniformed staff and building staff.
George (PS3NP) [275] No, they input that the information's come by from non-uniformed staff, but the analysis is always done by uniformed staff who are able to identify the trends, and who understand what the figures mean.
[276] So yes it does have an impact, and if we investigate fires to a level which would allow us to identify trends and patterns then that will [...] .
(PS3NG) [277] Okay, move on paper G, sorry no, am I right, no we're not.
[278] Fire service S S A, five point four.
Unknown speaker (J3SPSUNK) [279] No, we haven't done that yet.
(PS3NG) [280] No, I'm sorry, in view [...] sorry I'm
Unknown speaker (J3SPSUNK) [281] [...] keep [...] is it, my fault
(PS3NG) [282] [clears throat] Paper G, fire's special interest
(PS3NN) [283] On page two on the twenty sixth of November, I don't think er, it does, it doesn't tell the full story does it?
[284] Nor does the picture book that's just passed by.
(PS3NG) [285] Page, page three
(PS3NN) [286] The child, the child was, the child was dead.
Unknown speaker (J3SPSUNK) [287] What?
(PS3NG) [288] What, which one are we looking at?
(PS3NN) [289] We're looking at paper G, Chairman.
(PS3NG) [290] But page, you said page two?
(PS3NN) [291] Page three I said, item on the twenty sixth of November.
(PS3NG) [292] Page three.
(PS3NN) [293] Ninety three. ...
(PS3NG) [294] Yes,
(PS3NN) [295] I just asked in, to give it in a note actually.
Unknown speaker (J3SPSUNK) [296] [clears throat] I understand what Major is saying.
[297] Is he saying that this is incorrect?
[298] You located the child on the first floor [...]
Unknown speaker (J3SPSUNK) [299] No, no exactly.
Unknown speaker (J3SPSUNK) [300] and then conveyed to hospital. [...]
Unknown speaker (J3SPSUNK) [301] I haven't got a clue.
Unknown speaker (J3SPSUNK) [302] Well,res rescue does, rescue does, does er, conjure up in the mind that the person rescued was alive.
Unknown speaker (J3SPSUNK) [303] But the Fire Service don't declare who's dead and alive, and they've got very good personnel.
(PS3NN) [304] Alright, alright, I'm just telling you then.
Unknown speaker (J3SPSUNK) [305] Perhaps this is something, I was just going to say that, until someone is actually certified dead by your doctor, they're not regarded as dead and so that's what, what's happened
(PS3NN) [306] Well I think the Committee should note that there was a fatality at that, at that incident. ...
Unknown speaker (J3SPSUNK) [307] Can we note that Mr Chairman?
(PS3NG) [308] Yes, we'll note it, erm, [...] , the fatality w when they are incoming, it could happen any time after six months, after twelve months, [...] .
[309] Any other point?
[310] ... It's fairly up to date, sixteenth of December, paper H, road traffic accidents.
Unknown speaker (J3SPSUNK) [311] I couldn't understand this one Chairman.
Unknown speaker (J3SPSUNK) [312] No it takes a bit of conjuring out, yes
Unknown speaker (J3SPSUNK) [313] Yes [...]
(PS3NG) [314] Oh, your computer played up, yes, yes, George
George (PS3NP) [315] I must apologize for this one, it's hard for me sometimes to understand it as well.
[316] Erm, the one, two, three and four refer to quarters, it seems a strange way to do it, and I apologize for that.
[317] The three columns below actually relate to the categories, persons extricated, services omitted, and services.
[318] So if you move the key up alongside those three columns, does it make sense?
[319] But as I say, I do apologize for that, it's unnecessarily complicated.
[320] There, the, the graph illustrates what's in the table below.
[321] Stick to the graph itself, if you ignore the rest of it, the graph's actually good.
Unknown speaker (J3SPSUNK) [322] What do [...] no services mean?
George (PS3NP) [323] Well it's where we're called out, probably with the initial belief that somebody is trapped, and the person's either released before we arrive there, or, you know,
Unknown speaker (J3SPSUNK) [324] So we do nothing, but turn back and go back?
George (PS3NP) [325] Well, very often what is, we do is make the vehicle safe, er, by isolating the battery and so on, we may warn about petrol.
[326] But in general it just means that we've arrived, we've discovered that nobody's trapped, and we go away.
Unknown speaker (J3SPSUNK) [327] But where, then can you explain what the difference is with people extricated in the R T A services only then.
George (PS3NP) [328] Well services only is walking down the road disconnecting the battery, or something similar.
[329] So we, we have three categories, we don't do anything at all, we do something fairly menial like washing away petrol or disconnecting batteries, or we rescue people.
Unknown speaker (J3SPSUNK) [330] Thank you.
(PS3NG) [331] Yes Councillor?
Jennifer (PS3NH) [332] Er, Chairman, yes, I wanted to make a comment and ask a question.
[333] And I'll, I think I can, I have it on, on this right and road traffic accidents, may perhaps cover any traffic accidents namely if a plane crashes in [...] the other night, erm, last Saturday night.
Unknown speaker (J3SPSUNK) [334] Yes
(PS3NG) [335] A plane crash
Jennifer (PS3NH) [336] The plane crashed completely.
[337] Erm, I would like to particularly compliment the Fire Service on the magnificent job they were doing there, in, in the most appalling conditions.
[338] It was very, very difficult for them, they had to come and they had to find the, the actual crash, and it was an appalling position to get to, erm, the efficiency was splendid.
[339] Erm, my, my question particularly is, does this also come under sort of, traffic accidents?
[340] Well we don't get any extra money out of Standard Spending Assessment.
[341] Because it's absolutely disgraceful.
[342] I mean it was a very big operation, there could have been people alive in that plane, but er, as it happened, I, I think tragically they were both dead, but I mean, but people didn't know that.
[343] Erm, and I, I think it's quite beyond belief that these sort of accidents as well as the major road accidents aren't taken into consideration for our S S A, and particularly in a county like Shropshire, where there's very little but grain in a lot of places, and that erm, money has to be found But, I would, I would really like to hear what the Officer [...]
(PS3NG) [344] Yes it's very unfortunate, there is an item on that, on five point four, you know,re regarding that er,
Jennifer (PS3NH) [345] Yes, I saw that there was on, on this the S S A.
[346] I saw that afterwards, I rather wanted to hang it on this so's I could put in my comment about the plane
(PS3NG) [347] Yes, yes, that's right, I appreciate it, yes.
[348] An aircraft is classified as a road traffic accident?
Jennifer (PS3NH) [349] Well it's traffic
George (PS3NP) [350] Well I mean, the, the the irony is, if you look in the Brigade's statistics chart, the one that's attached to that one, [clears throat] the aeroplane crash would come under special service calls other so it's a miscellaneous column, so it's not even a road accident, it's some other.
Jennifer (PS3NH) [351] And this one,
Unknown speaker (J3SPSUNK) [352] Like opening a lock of a door of somebody's house they can't get in?
(PS3NG) [353] We have some photographs by the way of the er, aircraft, that can be sent round er
Unknown speaker (J3SPSUNK) [354] Care carefully sifted.
(PS3NG) [355] yes, erm
Unknown speaker (J3SPSUNK) [356] Yes Mr Chairman, I er, ... Mrs qui quite rightly said we can congratulate the Fire Service on the way they dealt with that plane crash, and er, we're all sorry that it happened.
[357] Erm, could I sort of use that as a lever, to remind people on the yellow sheets that we forgot about, and that was the last one, the sixteenth of December, and er, I think that's, that's an element of personal er, commitment to the Fire Service which is so divided.
[358] Which er, which we all, who went to the, the particular er, er occasion when we went past it on our way from the church to the reception we saw it going on.
[359] We all know what was happening, and er, and we, we, I personally would like to make sure that er, fire fighter valiance is, is congratulated in this Committee too, because there was extreme bravery on that occasion.
Unknown speaker (J3SPSUNK) [360] Hear, hear.
(PS3NG) [361] I've no doubt in time, that that report will be coming before the Committee regarding that.
George (PS3NP) [362] I also intend to recommend for a, you know, a non-fire service humanitarian award.
[363] At least that was something that was done out with the normal course of duty, so like [...] I think.
(PS3NG) [364] Yes Colonel?
(PS3NR) [365] I, I, I, I don't think we should pass too lightly over what Mrs has said, it does seem extraordinary in that, er, someone who's locked out of their house, and the fire service comes along and opens the door for them comes under office, and mains and miscellaneous, and then a major, er, a plane crash is also classified like that.
[366] I, I, I don't know if we can work with Mr through the A C C that, that his classifications, it's, it's, it's a more major incident than some of the, some that are shown.
[367] And, I, there ought to be another column really within this, for these, for these sort of things, and it certainly should be, be er, included for the er, Standard Spending Assessment, for the erm
(PS3NG) [368] If somebody had put a match to it, it up there you see, it would then come under S S A,
(PS3NR) [369] Some, sorry?
(PS3NG) [370] Somebody would've put a match to it and set it on fire, we would have got money for going to deal with it.
(PS3NR) [371] Yes, so I wondered whether if, I think we should take that up er, it does seem extraordinary that a big thing like that is, is sort of put in the odds and ends column.
(PS3NG) [372] Yes, it is a crazy situation. ...
Unknown speaker (J3SPSUNK) [373] Can I just ask, would it be different if it had been a military aircraft?
George (PS3NP) [374] It would have been a great deal more difficult because military aircraft use more volatile fuel, and they tend to be armed, they tend to be carrying things that civil aircraft don't normally carry, so yes, it would've been much more difficult.
[375] Of course, the, the speeds would've been higher as well .
Unknown speaker (J3SPSUNK) [376] And you probably wouldn't have been allowed to get near part of it.
Unknown speaker (J3SPSUNK) [377] Yes, but, would, would it have still have been something which we wouldn't have got any money for?
(PS3NG) [378] Oh absolutely yes, unless it had gone on fire.
[379] If it had gone on fire, we'd have rescued it.
George (PS3NP) [380] It probably would've, military aircraft tend to burst into flames more easily than civil aircraft, it is true to say.
(PS3NR) [381] Can we keep nibbling at this Chairman, can a letter be written to say that we're, we're rather concerned about this methodology, and psychology of this?
(PS3NG) [382] We are nibbling, we're constantly nibbling, we nibbled at the last time, and Councillor on our behalf has nibbled at it as well, erm, a report, erm
Unknown speaker (J3SPSUNK) [...]
(PS3NG) [383] Yes, we, I mean we have
(PS3NR) [384] Well can we go again, because, and use this as an, as an example?
Unknown speaker (J3SPSUNK) [385] It will take quite big headed advice, that is, as well as familiar.
(PS3NR) [386] Well can we go again, because, by we're having a wail, perhaps one day we'll get through to somebody?
(PS3NG) [387] Yes, and I've no doubt that our representative on the A C C will take it up as well again.
Unknown speaker (J3SPSUNK) [388] Well he wants to let,
Unknown speaker (J3SPSUNK) [389] And let us, well that's right, I mean that's partly covered by erm, by [...] in the sense that whilst as far as this year's concerned, erm, it's too late for that, but then if the government have agreed to look at, look at special service calls again for next year.
[390] Because I think incidents such as this we move to help bring pressure to bear on er,
Unknown speaker (J3SPSUNK) [391] But Mr wants a letter before, to pave his way, beforehand, the letter's to go to the appropriate people on the board meeting.
George (PS3NP) [392] I think it's probably worth mentioning on that similar context following Mr 's comments about the false alarms, that the more successful we are at reducing those, the more that impacts on our budget because they take out for S S A, unlike road accidents.
[393] So the more successful that we're reducing them and road accidents, then we automatically reduce our S S A.
(PS3NG) [394] It's a crazy, crazy method isn't it?
(PS3NR) [395] Well, can a letter be written on this Chairman?
Unknown speaker (J3SPSUNK) [396] Yes, so that Mr will have some backup.
Unknown speaker (J3SPSUNK) [397] Teddie, are you taking five, four, eight for this behind [...] ?
(PS3NG) [398] Well I'll, we'll, we'll come to it, yes, it, it's immediately after this.
[399] We erm, we have some photographs of w which are rather horrendous actually, of R T As.
[400] Now, I've discussed with the Chief Fire Officer whether members of this Committee should be allowed to look at them.
[401] I mean I think that it's erm ... a good idea for members to see what firemen and I'm thinking in particular really of fire fight fighters I shouldn't say firemen, fire fighters, we've got ladies, erm, who are retained and can be at their du place of work one minute, and twenty minutes afterwards they've got to face up to ho horrendous sights, erm, it must have a tr traumatic effect on them.
[402] Er, and I think it's a good idea that you, if you want to have a look at these photographs, look at them, if you're squeamish at all, don't look at them.
[403] Erm, the Chief Fire Officer will enlarge on what I've been saying.
George (PS3NP) [404] Erm, if I could say that, we show you lots and lots of photographs of bits of squashed metal, that doesn't actually mean very much, and I think Mr more than anybody round here will [...] with that.
[405] The impact that it has on these people particularly as the Chair said, the retained service, can be quite profound because they, unlike the whole time firemen can be catapulted from being a joiner one minute into being a rescue operator the next minute.
[406] And, road accidents, we talk about them a lot, and we've discussed about charging for them, or whether we shouldn't and all the rest of it, they aren't about bits of squashed metal, they're about people.
[407] And these picture, they're two or three incidents that we've had recently, they are fairly horrible.
[408] If you've got any sensitivities at all don't look at them please, but if you wish to, they'll give you an indication of the kind of thing that your fire fighters have been facing over the last three or four months.
[409] These are all recent incidents, so I mean I really would reinforce that, don't look at them if you're in any way squeamish, because they're not, they're quite unpleasant.
[410] They're not meant to be crude or sensationalist, they give you an idea of the kind of thing that your fire fighters face on a regular basis.
(PS3NG) [411] Right we'll move on to five point four.
[412] Fire Service S S A, which we've talked to at some length already.
[413] Councillor ?
(PS3NM) [414] Can I ju ju just raise a point where it refers to the fact that the S S A is going to be looked at again next year.
[415] Erm, the agency has considered a paper on this as is referred to in the final paragraph, what it's basically suggesting to the Department of the Environment and the Home Office is, is that a formula is based upon the supply factors er, such as the, the number of fire stations and standard crew levels etcetera.
[416] Now, with any, I freely admit, as I'm sure we all do, that, that there's no formula in this that's going to be perfect, but having seen some preliminary information on the work the A C C is, is pushing at the moment, it does unfortunately have a detrimental impact on, on our own situation here in Shropshire.
[417] With the report erm, I have circulated copies to each of the group's spokesmen, there was a couple of charts which indicate what the current situation is with er, spending as against S S A, and if the Home Office move to er, a fir what they call a fire station based S S A, what the position would be.
[418] And on the basis of those graphs it does look as if our situation worsens.
[419] So I think we've got to be very careful erm, and I want to know which way to go with this.
[420] But I'm very concerned obviously as a representative of Shropshire on that Committee, I don't really want to support something which at the end of the day is going to have a detrimental impact on our own service here.
[421] Now I'm wondering how easy or whether there's any mileage in actually having a report coming to our next committee, to actually build on that so that we've actually got something to pull on figures to consider ... erm, and if, and it, it is going to detrimentally impact upon us to a greater or lesser extent, then, then obviously it's helpful to me.
[422] But I think it's also useful for the Committee to intimate comments on, on where it sees areas to be looked at, like special service calls, so on and so forth.
[423] I don't think anybody can agree, there is, there is perhaps a better way of looking at the current formula, but I'm just a little bit concerned having read this report and seen the purpose, about the way that er, the A C C are, are pressing for the [...]
(PS3NG) [424] We, we.
[425] I, we're just about the middle of the road with it er,
(PS3NM) [426] Yes, yes, I mean this year, with the formula obviously, because the number of fire calls has dropped, it impacts upon er, as I say that, I don't know whether the actual, the cost, the differential between the number of calls that have dropped and the drop in the S S A, whether it's comparable, and I don't suppose they've got a measure of the drop, in S S A terms it's far greater than the actual marginal costs of er, not attending those er, extra, extra fire calls.
George (PS3NP) [427] And it, yes, it hits, and I mean that's, that's purely off the top of my head, that it certainly is, we haven't unlighted any detail.
[428] It's probably the, the simplest illustration is to say that over the last three or four years, we've moved from being well below S S A to nine point four percent above S S A, now nothing's changed other than that we've got a slight decrease in the number of calls over this last two years.
[429] Our Brigade hasn't got dramatically larger, nothing dramatic has changed.
[430] All that's changed is the way the formula's been applied, and the number of calls that counts towards the formula.
[431] So one minute we're, by S S A terms, a frugal authority, and now we're a bit of a substantial overspender.
(PS3NM) [432] The policy's to be welcomed in the fact that we're actually attending er, less and less calls.
[433] But obviously er, as the Chief says, it has impacts on our S S A, so really we need, in money terms, to be able to give er, a relatively high value of call out.
[434] That's not to add that the existing formula is at fault.
[435] The difficulty is if we move to something, er, which is supply based as is being suggested, then it could impact even, even greater and so there's no perfect er, system for this, but there's got to be a better way.
George (PS3NP) [436] Yes, it's, it's possibly worth mentioning on that as well that, in comparison with the supply based, I mean the existing system is demand based, which is silly, because we have to have fire stations there even if they never go out, if they go out twice a year, we still have to have a fire station in loco, but with the demand based model that's illustrated in A C C based initiative, it's based on existing supply, and this authority has a fairly frugal level of supply in comparison with some other authorities, so what happens is that if you apply it to existing supply then we come out quite badly.
[437] And I think until reviews of the standards of fire cover are applied on a uniform basis across the country, the more uniform basis than they currently are, then the figures will always be the problem.
(PS3NG) [438] Okay,th we will present them.
Unknown speaker (J3SPSUNK) [439] [...] the next meeting at branch to try and er, get [...] of er, what potentially we're looking at.
(PS3NG) [440] Okay
Unknown speaker (J3SPSUNK) [441] Yep
(PS3NG) [442] We move on.
[443] Fire Service Pension Scheme, five point five.
Unknown speaker (J3SPSUNK) [444] Okay Chair, that's just a note that it er, it's a matter we've raised with this Committee on several occasions in the past, and getting close I think to being able to present some detailed figures as to the likely costs in future, of firemen's pension sch scheme to Shropshire County Council.
(PS3NG) [445] It's a bit worrying isn't it?
Unknown speaker (J3SPSUNK) [446] Very, very.
Unknown speaker (J3SPSUNK) [447] What happened to the reorganization?
[448] ... No, well I should think we've got to think about it.
Unknown speaker (J3SPSUNK) [449] Yes.
George (PS3NP) [450] Speaking entirely selfishly, it's extremely worrying.
Unknown speaker (J3SPSUNK) [laugh]
Unknown speaker (J3SPSUNK) [451] The police have a similar problem, erm, but not, not as bad as we have.
Unknown speaker (J3SPSUNK) [452] Oh no, it's a lot bigger, it's a lot worse, well there's a lot more of them.
Unknown speaker (J3SPSUNK) [453] Well, there's a lot more here.
George (PS3NP) [454] It's early retirement now, I suppose.
(PS3NG) [455] I beg your pardon?
George (PS3NP) [456] It's early retirement.
(PS3NG) [457] Well, yes, that does
(PS3NM) [458] It has had an effect on us, but it's relatively limited.
Unknown speaker (J3SPSUNK) [459] But the basic, but the basic problem is the way it was set up in the first place,
Unknown speaker (J3SPSUNK) [460] An unfunded scheme
Unknown speaker (J3SPSUNK) [461] it's an unfunded scheme, it, it just simply has ongoing revenue, on an an annual basis.
Unknown speaker (J3SPSUNK) [462] That's right
Unknown speaker (J3SPSUNK) [463] And if you have an increase in, in one year and the situation then throws it all out of kilter.
[464] It doesn't have enough money coming in to pay for it.
[465] It's as simple as that.
George (PS3NP) [466] It was a wonderful scheme for thirty years, it's got lots and lots of money, but we never seem to put any in.
[467] For thirty years onwards it's a dreadful scheme.
Unknown speaker (J3SPSUNK) [468] As Mr is hinting on the paper.
(PS3NM) [469] I mean unfortunately the authority in days gone by has benefited from the scheme in the sense that the extra, extra money in service in truth, the revenue was there, erm, the chickens have come home to roost in the sense that it's, the tables have turned the other way, and I mean, gone are the days where, when we're least worried out that impact that, that, that much more of our er, of our budget.
Unknown speaker (J3SPSUNK) [470] The financial advisers of those days were probably the people who taught the ones who have been [...] professional schemes.
Unknown speaker (J3SPSUNK) [laugh]
(PS3NG) [471] Okay
Unknown speaker (J3SPSUNK) [472] Right, sorry, that was a nasty remark.
Unknown speaker (J3SPSUNK) [473] In deference to the first thirty years, as the man says, [...] [laugh]
(PS3NG) [474] Five point seven, sorry, five point six, paper I ... Review of Fire Safety, yes, please if you would erm,
George (PS3NP) [475] Right, Chair, P A G asked for two reports to be produced as part of the budget process, looking in more detail at the budget, and the two specific reports that were asked for, were fire safety and trimming.
[476] We've looked very closely at fire safety as it's currently existing, and within out current statutory and discretionary responsibilities.
[477] And we've attempted to cost out the work that's done against the resources.
[478] The caveat that we've put against the whole report is that there are something in the region of half a dozen major government initiated reviews into fire safety in this country.
[479] By the National Audit Office, the Audit Commission itself, the Home Office, the D T I under deregulation and all the rest of it.
[480] There are likely to be very, very substantial changes in the legislation itself and the way in which it's enforced.
[481] So in the medium term, the short to medium term I think we need to base what we're doing very much on existing establishments and existing workloads.
[482] That's not to say that we stop looking at it, and we'll be looking in more and more detail at the workloads, matched up against the resources, as we get better information.
[483] This Brigade is probably if not the only conservative one, one of a tiny number in the country, that don't computerize their information systems for fire safety.
[484] We never had had them, and we've been criticized recently by the Inspector, because of that.
[485] We're now attempting to install, or produce those systems so that we have better information.
[486] Because as you can imagine in fire stations there's a great deal of number crunching, there's a lot of inspections, there's a lot of work that's done.
[487] It's very difficult to analyze that using manual systems.
[488] Erm, so looking though it, the, the kind of, the only really important points, I think are that, er, to carry out statutory and non-statutory work.
[489] Most of non-statutory work is giving advice to people like [...] control, and others, which may not be purely statutory in the sense that [...] is, but the major difference is there's a time when it's imposed on when we have to do it.
[490] Whereas the Fire Precautions Act just says we have to do it, but it doesn't say when.
[491] And that creates fairly major problems for us.
[492] Erm, looking through the rest of the paper, there's a mistake in paragraph three, where it says cost of inspections was six hundred and fifty hundred, that should be six hundred and fifty thousand.
[493] Er, looking through the officer workload ratios in paragraph four, it shows that using what are in honesty fairly crude Home Office measures, we're really quite well to the national average, that we carry out approximately four hundred and thirty three inspections per officer in a year as opposed to the expected four hundred and eighty two.
[494] Erm, again we utilize ninety one point nine two percent of the available inspecting officers' time for inspections, rather than the national average of eighty four point three nine percent.
[495] I mean I, they look reasonable.
[496] All I can say to you, they're fairly crude measurements anyway.
[497] Er, looking on w there's a slight warning I think there about,th the decision talks about possible reductions by increasing intra- [...] .
[498] That means that we are locked into issuing fire certificates since we rely on the [...] and it imposes a marked official erm, performance target on us, we can't afford to let the numbers of inspections of supported defences drop, so that means that we've got to find money from elsewhere in the budget.
[499] Looking to, I've referred to the possible changes and the recommendations really say that, at present there's insufficient information and it's against a background of very dramatic future changes in fire safety.
[500] And I would say to you that really there's little point in making any major changes there until you, you're able to assess it properly.
(PS3NG) [501] Major you signifying.
(PS3NN) [502] Thank you Chairman, I've got three questions Chairman for the Chief Fire Officer.
[503] They refer to the appendix A, attached.
[504] Firstly on the second page, number fifty eight, the Education Act in the middle of page one nine four four, refers to schools used and maintained by the local authority.
[505] Does that exempt schools that are not maintained by the local authority?
[506] That's the first one.
George (PS3NP) [507] Yes, yes, it's covered by the note underneath, where it says [reading] that independent schools receive inspections and advice as and when requested by the D O E [] .
(PS3NN) [508] I see, you are requested by the D O E?
George (PS3NP) [509] Yes.
(PS3NN) [510] Second question Chairman, er, and several of the, of the Acts er, they provide er advisory, advisory to the licensing authorities, advisory to district councils, with example pet shops, advisory to district councils, does that mean that they on I can only er, reckon that they think that places probably expect it if they're asked to do it by the District Council.
George (PS3NP) [511] Effectively yes, there is
(PS3NN) [512] If the District Council were slack and didn't ask them to do it, we, we have no guarantee that er, that the premises that I'm in are, are safe.
George (PS3NP) [513] Yes, effectively.
[514] The best illustration is the Building Acts.
[515] Erm, when an application is received for building approval by a District Council, they consult the Fire Authority but there's no specific obligation on us to give detailed advice.
[516] In the past we gave very detailed advice, and the legislation has now been changed to say that we merely identify any shortcomings or failings in the application.
[517] That's purely advisory.
[518] But the thing is that there's time limits imposed on the building application, so that time limit is therefore transferred to us.
(PS3NN) [519] Yes.
George (PS3NP) [520] So, but, but basically the answer to your question is, if we weren't asked then there's no requirement for us to give the information.
(PS3NN) [521] No, so we don't know we're really safe in some premises, because the District Council may not have asked.
[522] The final question Chairman, there's a lot of er, facts here with no remarks against them under the premises and involvement like here on page three, number fifty nine, Mental Health Act, the National Assistance Act, Health and Safety at Work Act, it doesn't tell us the type of premises or what in so I say, well what involvement do we have with the Mental Heath Act for example?
Unknown speaker (J3SPSUNK) [523] Yes
George (PS3NP) [524] Very, very varied.
[525] Erm, purely non-specific.
[526] Under the Mental Health Act, and off the top of my head, I'd say we certainly cover places like psychiatric hospitals, erm, residential institutions and all the rest of it.
[527] And again it's on the basis of giving advice as to what standards of fire safety are recommended.
(PS3NN) [528] So our, so our safety in outside premises does, not only we, we cannot blame it on our fire service, we can blame it on another agencies, if something ever went wrong?
George (PS3NP) [529] Oh indeed, I mean a great many of them we have no responsibility at all for, we merely give advice when requested.
[530] The Health and Safety at Work Act, that's one line with nothing decided, that covers a vast array of tenants and individuals and regulations.
(PS3NN) [531] And having given that advice to the pet shop, does it have to be complied with?
George (PS3NP) [532] No, it's purely advisory, it, it depends, depending on which piece of legislation, it depends upon the regulatory bodies, and in most cases that tends to be the District Councils, but it's
George (PS3NP) [533] Things are not as safe as I thought they were.
George (PS3NP) [534] Well, registration of children's homes.
[535] We give advice on suitable tenders, it's not up to us to make sure that they're enforced.
[536] It's up to Social Services, and Social Services may choose, although I have got to say it's unlikely, to register a children's or an elderly person's home despite the fact that we've given advice that they shouldn't.
George (PS3NP) [537] But I think we'll update not so much is over public authorities would probably take your advice, but I'm thinking of people who are not public authorities who might in a way suffer, that your advice may cause them some expense, and they might choose to delay it, and well I am guilty we can't afford to do that this year, so it never gets done.
Unknown speaker (J3SPSUNK) [538] No but I mean let's be fair about these though, be fair to them, and in the erm, to see that they carry out your suggestions or advice is with the area local authorities, [...]
Unknown speaker (J3SPSUNK) [539] It, arrange to say that in our homes it's the responsibility of the County Council, or the Social Services Department, so really you're working together.
(PS3NG) [540] Councillor ,
(PS3NM) [541] Yes, thank you Chair, I just wanted to add